When Francesco Totti Cries, We All Cry

One of the greatest footballers of all time, and by far the best player of AS Roma ever, the legendary and unrepeatable Francesco Totti, saddened the whole football world after he played his last match for his beloved club two weeks ago. Totti played for Roma for more than 25 years; he was the club’s captain, icon, the top goalscorer and most capped player in club’s history. The real King of Rome.

In the days before Totti’s last match for Roma, lots of texts about his departure could be read on the Internet. And, on the day of his departure, the whole Internet was watching his farewell to his beloved Giallorossi’s crowd. So, we were wondering how AS Roma marketed the departure of the club’s best player ever.

Because I grew up playing for Roma and I want to die playing for Roma, because I have always been Roma’s fan!

Francesco Totti

Years in AS Roma

Appearances for the hometown team

years old when made pro debut for AS Roma

years old when he became the club captain

Let’s start. Even though Totti’s farewell has been prepared for “behind the scene” entire season, it is interesting that no one, neither Totti nor Roma, officially announced that the King is really leaving professional football and his biggest love (at least as a player). Whether it was Roma’s shrewd but brilliant marketing move, or El Pupone (The Big Baby) has not been able to reconcile with the fact that his active playing time has come to an end, we do not know, but that move was top-hole.

The whole week before the Last Game, Roma “bombed and harassed” their followers as well as the rest of Facebook with posts about Totti’s dedication. They used the hashtag #ThanksTotti and started with the release of Diego Maradona’s status in which he is wishing farewell to Totti. After Maradona’s quote, they released videos of great captains of modern football such as Javier Zanetti, Gianluigi Buffon, Steven Gerard, Paulo Maldini and others who talked about their rival and big friend with exquisite and beautiful words.

AS Roma released a quiz about Il Gladiaore, made a video of ten things that did not exist when Totti had his debut for Roma on March 28 1993, a video of top 10 assists and top 10 goal celebrations, and everything cumulated the day before the big game.

The whole Saturday, when the game was played was reserved for Totti and his farewell game. Not much was written in the newspaper or on social media about the importance of this last match for Roma. And they had to win it to secure direct qualification to Champions League next season. Only the King of Rome was in focus. So, Roma released four videos on it’s Facebook page and the letter from Roma’s president Pallota addressed to the biggest player in his club’s history.

Sunday the 28th of May 2017, is most likely one of the most emotional days for every Roma fan, probably even more emotional than the 17th of June 2001 when Roma defeated Parma 3:1 and clinched their last (third overall) title of Seria A championship.

On the last day of Totti’s playing career, Roma released two farewell videos, one of which had more than 218,000 likes, 107,000 shares and 4,500 comments. They also released the video of Totti’s special shirt for his last match and a photo gallery of delightful drawings dedicated to the Roman Gladiator.

After the match, Roma released a live video of Totti’s farewell ceremony in the length of almost 50 minutes. That video had impressive figures – more than 308,000 likes, nearly 100,000 shares and the total of 6,6 million views.

The next day, on Monday, Roma released three emotional videos one of which was especially “heavy” with a title “When Totti cries, we all cry”. On that video everybody cries – Totti, Olimpico, another eternal Romanist and the new captain Daniele De Rossi… I believe that even the toughest of us this video didn’t leave indifferent.


Although any activity on Roma’s Facebook page on Totti’s farewell day would be a success, Roma did an excellent job and took advantage of the departure of club’s best player ever. Roma and Totti waited for a long time with the official announcement of Totti’s departure, and when they did announce it, they did it with an enormous amount of emotion and great storytelling – best elements of sports marketing.

Niko Rukavina

Niko Rukavina

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, feel free to contact me at niko@promoovertime.com

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